Mitsubishi Outlander – Forward Collision Mitigation system, awarded by Euro NCAP

Mitsubishi Motors Corporation’s Forward Collision Mitigation system* (FCM) – fitted to the New Generation Outlander – is the latest advanced safety system acknowledged by Euro NCAP through its “Advanced Rewards”.

Safety benefit

Whether avoidance, crash or post-crash, advanced technologies define today’s frontier in the development of safer car and since 2010, Euro NCAP Advanced have rewarded and recognised car manufacturers which made available new safety technologies demonstrating a scientifically proven safety benefit for consumers and society.

For each technology nominated by a car manufacturer, Euro NCAP assigns a panel of objective experts who review evidence provided by the said manufacturer. Through logical and rigorous analysis of the way in which the technology has been developed, tested and validated, and from any real-world experience that may exist, the system’s performance and its expected effectiveness can be determined. Where a strong case is made, Euro NCAP will reward the technology, such as today with Mitsubishi Motors’ FCM.

5-star Outlander

A further testimony of Mitsubishi’s contribution to a safer driving environment, the FCM system (see below description) was first introduced in 2012 with the 5-star Euro NCAP awarded Outlander, together with other advanced safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control* (ACC) system and Lane Departure Warning* (LDW) system – to be later deployed on future models as well.

As Euro NCAP stated: “Mitsubishi Motors’ Forward Collision Mitigation system rewarded by Euro NCAP is an example that some car manufacturers are making efforts to help us further reduce accidents and casualties on the roads by providing consumers with Autonomous Emergency Braking systems.”

Together with ACC and LDW, the Euro NCAP-awarded FCM system complements Mitsubishi’s continuous development of its various safety-related initiatives and innovations, whether for its proprietary RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution).structure**, the fine-tuning of active safety-related areas or the regular introduction of new passive safety features.

*Availability may vary according to market and model

* *Mitsubishi Motors’ RISE is a uni-body design that brings dramatic  advances in multi-directional impact safety performance. In essence, RISE is meant to disperse energy loads during side and rear crashes and controls distortion, enhancing occupant protection and also helping to protect the fuel system during a rear impact


Forward Collision Mitigation system* (FCM)

The FCM system – using the same 77 GHz radar used by the Adaptive Cruise Control system – detects obstacles on the road in front of the Outlander and will automatically apply the brakes when necessary to help prevent a collision or to help reduce the severity of a collision.

When the possibility of a front collision arises, the driver is warned through a buzzer and a light in the instrument panel.  The FCM will also increase the brake pressure in the circuit.

If the driver then hits the brakes, the Brake Assist function will activate earlier than normal.

When the risk of a collision becomes highly possible, a two-stage Automatic Braking function is engaged:

  • First stage: low braking pressure is automatically applied prompting the driver to avoid the collision.
  • Second stage: high braking pressure is automatically applied to help mitigate or avoid the collision.

FCM can help avoiding a collision when the car is driving at less than 30km/h and the system detects a stationary object.  With respect to other moving vehicles, FCM can also help to avoid a collision when the speed difference between the vehicle being detected and the Outlander is less than 30 km/h.  Where the speed difference is greater than 30 km/h, FCM cannot help prevent a collision, but can help to reduce the severity of that collision.

* The FCM system cannot cover all driving and traffic situations, all types of objects, or all weather and road conditions.

*The FCM system cannot detect all vehicles.  FCM works best detecting passenger size or larger vehicles.

Malibu Reaches The Peak At ANCAP

Independent vehicle safety advocate, ANCAP, has released ANCAP safety ratings for two new market entrants – the Holden Malibu and Fiat Freemont.

The Holden Malibu scored the top safety rating as recommended by ANCAP – a 5 star rating; while the Fiat Freemont achieved only a 4 star ANCAP safety rating.

“ANCAP urges consumers to accept nothing less than 5 stars when buying a new car,” said ANCAP Chief Executive Officer, Nicholas Clarke.

“Models like the Freemont are purpose-built to carry up to seven occupants – in particular families. It is therefore concerning that this model did not score sufficient points to achieve a 5 star ANCAP safety rating.”

In addition to falling short in the area of occupant protection, the Fiat Freemont also puts Australian pedestrians at greater risk of injury if struck, with the Australian-sold Freemont lacking an ‘active’ bonnet – a feature which is afforded to the European market as standard.

Clarke said it is wrong to have features such as this removed from vehicles depending on the country in which they are sold.

“We need to see the same maximum level of vehicle safety technologies offered in all countries. We’re all equal, we should save lives equally – here, in Europe, in America, in Asia – right across the world,” he said.

The 5 star Holden Malibu, which is already on sale in the United States, China and Europe, offers comparable levels of safety across each of these markets.

“There’s no reason why all manufacturers can’t build and sell the same vehicles to all,” said Clarke.

The Malibu performed well across all tests providing good levels of protection to the majority of body regions for both the driver and passenger.

ANCAP is supported by all Australian and New Zealand motoring clubs, the Australian Government, the New Zealand Government, Australian state and territory governments, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, NRMA Insurance and the FIA Foundation.

To search individual crash test results for over 435 vehicles, learn more about safety technologies, explore interactive features, watch videos and to download images and media releases visit Crash test images and video can be downloaded from

Bosch launches residential EV charger for under $450

A unit of German supplier Robert Bosch GmbH said it will begin selling an electric-vehicle residential charging station for a retail price below $450.

The Bosch Power Max, a 16-amp configuration with a 12-foot cable, will offer 2,400-volt charging in half the time, and at half the price, as a Level 2 residential charging station, said Tanvir Arfi, president of Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.

Bosch Automotive Service Solutions is the former SPX Service Solutions business, which Bosch acquired last year in an acquisition valued at $1.15 billion. SPX has sold about 16,000 previous recharging stations and performed about 6,000 installations, Bosch said in a statement on Wednesday.

The unit is designed to work with all electric vehicles. It’s also available in a faster 30-amp configuration, with cord length up to 25 feet.

Some residential charging stations can cost over $1000 or more, according to Web sites selling the product.

Arfi said the company saved costs by cutting the length of the cable used by the station.

“We largely realized most of the chargers out there, including ours, have cable lengths that are much longer than needed,” he said.

Installation, permits and inspection are included in the price, Bosch said. The product has a three-year warranty.

Bosch is now taking orders, and shipments begin in June.

PPG Researchers Target Increased Fuel Efficiency

Last August, the Obama administration announced new fuel efficiency standards for the US’ cars and light trucks. It stated that by 2025 those vehicles must average 54.5 miles per gallon(4.3L/100Kms) – nearly double today’s average fuel efficiency!

To help vehicle manufacturers achieve this target, researchers at PPG’s Allison Park Coatings Innovation Center (CIC) are kicking off a three-year project. Funded by the US Department of Energy (DOE), the aim is to develop PPG pre-treatment and electrocoat technologies for the next generation of magnesium alloys. 

“These alloys are considered a significant enabler for improving automobile fuel economy,” said Dick Karabin, Associate Director of Substrate Protection and Engineered Materials at the CIC. “They’re a practical alternative for achieving more than a 50-per cent weight reduction compared to the same components manufactured from steel. This project ensures that PPG will continue to be a market leader in automotive pre-treatments and electrodeposition primers even as fabrication materials evolve for the next generation of lightweight, fuel efficient cars.” 

Work on the project will be conducted primarily at the CIC with support from PPG’s Euclid, Ohio, pre-treatment facility.

CAPTION: This demonstration automotive support structure, comprising three types of magnesium alloy, represents the materials and joints that the PPG research-and-development team expects would become part of actual vehicle construction.

GM’s Akerson Calls for Consumer-Driven National Energy Policy

Speaking at an energy conference in Houston, GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said his company is developing the industry’s most technologically diverse range of fuel-efficient cars, trucks and crossovers to meet new fuel economy standards.

These include clean diesel, battery-powered electric vehicles, extended-range electric vehicles, natural gas and a host of fuel-saving technologies such as light electrification, cylinder deactivation and turbo direct injection.

GM is committed to saving 12 billion gallons of fuel over the life of the vehicles it builds between 2011 and 2017, the equivalent of averting the need for 675 million barrels of oil – a figure nearly equal to U.S. oil imports from the Persian Gulf in 2011. 

Mass reduction through the use of advanced materials, such as carbon fibre and magnesium as well as investments in nano steels and resistance spot welding for aluminium structures, holds great promise.

 “A good rule of thumb is that a 10 per cent reduction in curb weight will reduce fuel consumption by about 6.5 per cent,” Akerson said. “Our target is to reduce weight by up to 15 per cent” by 2016.

Cooperation Between Daimler, Ford and Renault-Nissan

Daimler AG, Ford Motor Company and Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., have signed a unique three-way agreement to accelerate the commercialisation of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology.

The goal of the collaboration is to jointly develop a common fuel cell electric vehicle system while reducing investment costs associated with the engineering of the technology. Each company will invest equally towards the project. The strategy to maximise design commonality, leverage volume and derive efficiencies through economies of scale will help to launch the worlds first affordable, mass-market FCEVs as early as 2017.

Together, Daimler, Ford and Nissan have more than 60 years of cumulative experience developing FCEVs. Their FCEVs have logged more than 10 million kilometres in test drives around the world in customers hands and as part of demonstration projects in diverse conditions. The partners plan to develop a common fuel cell stack and fuel cell system that can be used by each company in the launch of highly differentiated, separately branded FCEVs, which produce no CO2 emissions while driving.

The collaboration sends a clear signal to suppliers, policymakers and the industry to encourage further development of hydrogen refuelling stations and other infrastructure necessary to allow the vehicles to be mass-marketed.

Powered by electricity generated from hydrogen and oxygen, FCEVs emit only water while driving. FCEVs are considered complementary to today’s battery-electric vehicles and will help expand the range of zero-emission transportation options available to consumers.

“Fuel cell electric vehicles are the obvious next step to complement today’s battery electric vehicles as our industry embraces more sustainable transportation,” said Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Vice President of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., supervising Research and Development.

“We look forward to a future where we can answer many customer needs by adding FCEVs on top of battery EVs within the zero-emission line-up.”

“We are convinced that fuel cell vehicles will play a central role for zero-emission mobility in the future. Thanks to the high commitment of all three partners we can put fuel cell e-mobility on a broader basis. This means with this cooperation we will make this technology available for many customers around the globe,” said Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

“Working together will significantly help speed this technology to market at a more affordable cost to our customers,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company.

“We will all benefit from this relationship as the resulting solution will be better than any one company working alone.”

Engineering work on both the fuel cell stack and the fuel cell system will be done jointly by the three companies at several locations around the world. The partners are also studying the joint development of other FCEV components to generate even further synergies.

The unique collaboration across three continents and three companies will help define global specifications and component standards, an important prerequisite for achieving higher economies of scale.

How a fuel cell electric vehicle works

Like today’s battery-electric vehicles, FCEVs are more efficient than conventional cars and diversify energy sources beyond petroleum.

The electricity for an FCEV is produced on board the vehicle in the fuel cell stack where it is generated following an electro-chemical reaction between hydrogen – stored in a purpose-designed, high-pressure tank in the car – and oxygen from the air. The only by-products are water vapour and heat.

(L-R) Raj Nair, Group Vice President, Global Product Development, Ford Motor Company, Prof. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development and Mitsuhiko Yamashita, Member of the Board of Directors and Executive Vice President of Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., supervising Research and Development.

High Speed, On Street Electric Car Charger

NRMA Motoring & Services and the City of Canada Bay and Origin Energy have switched on Sydney’s first free-of-charge public, high-speed electric vehicle charging station.

The new charging station, or the DC Fast Charge, will charge a Mitsubishi i-MiEV or a Nissan LEAF in less than 20 minutes, compared to the four to eight hours using a 15 amp power point.

Origin Energy is sponsoring the charging station, providing 100 per cent government accredited GreeenPower for motorists, while the City of Canada Bay allocated a kerbside parking space for the fast charge station.

NRMA president Wendy Machin said it is important that NRMA takes the lead by encouraging motorists to use alternative fuels and technology like electric vehicles.

“NRMA is pleased to offer this community service to electric car users. These cars are becoming increasingly popular; it’s a wonderful initiative which will make charging on the go faster and more convenient,” said Machin.

“We believe that electric vehicles will form part of the long-term solution in meeting Australia’s future transport demands.”

Origin’s CEO energy markets Frank Calabria said: “This partnership with the NRMA is an active demonstration of Origin’s ongoing commitment to the development of innovative and sustainable energy solutions for Australians.  When powered with 100 per cent GreenPower, electric vehicles are practically emissions free.

“Together with the NRMA, Origin hopes to encourage the take up of more electric vehicles in Australia.”

The charger is currently only suitable for charging the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and Nissan LEAF vehicles. It is located at 9 George Street, North Strathfield, opposite the head office of NRMA Motoring & Services. 

Will Iron Batteries Return?

 Electric vehicles (EVs), whether hybrid or pure-electric for land, water or air, employ batteries on board, where supercapacitors have not replaced them. For more on this see the IDTechEx report, “Electric Vehicle Traction Batteries 2012-2022” (

However, EVs also employ larger battery banks in some types of stationary fast-charging infrastructure beyond the vehicle and sometimes static battery banks are used to capture braking energy of electric trains, though here supercapacitors are increasingly proving more reliable and lower in cost over their (longer) life. See the IDTechEx reports, “Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors: Supercapacitors 2012-2022” ( ) for a broad treatment and “Supercapacitor / Ultracapacitor Strategies and Emerging Applications 2013-2025” ( ) for detail on these aspects and the technology, including many interviews.

Indeed, there is much talk of electric vehicles becoming part of the smart grid and closely associated with frequency and load balancing battery banks, so the search for better battery technology in this EV firmament continues to be very broad. For more see the IDTechEx report, “Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure 2012-2022” ( ).

A place for iron in rechargeable batteries

Most of the existing manufacturers and nearly all of the new manufacturers of lithium-ion “Li-ion” batteries use lithium iron phosphate active cathodes because of advantages such as no materials subject to severe price hikes, low cost materials and easier patent position. They have good temperature performance that can be reflected in greater safety though no Li-ion cell is inherently safe and the first defender of safety is the battery management system (BMS), not the cell. Several recent fires and explosions have been related to something other than the cells.

Look deeper at the chemistry and we again see a different picture. The Japanese Institute for Information Technology notes that the leaders in sales of Li-ion batteries for vehicles are in Japan, which has the lowest material cost for the advanced materials, and Korea, which has the fastest production lines, not China. We are told that the Japanese and Koreans, notably

Panasonic including its Sanyo subsidiary, AESC and LGChem, base their success on ignoring lithium iron phosphate (LFP).

Will iron batteries return?

Source: IDTechEx report ‘Most-Needed Chemicals for New Disruptive Electronics and Electrics’ ( )

Certainly, huge leaps in energy density and, potentially, cost/kWh, have been reported just lately, for example by Envia Systems. In development, this has broken the world’s record for energy density at 400 watt-hours/kg, more than double today’s batteries. This matches the best of the so-called rechargeable lithium/lithium metal batteries that do not employ the lithium intercalation at the electrode that characterises Li-ion. Such traction batteries are in use in modest quantities for military, aerospace, unmanned vehicle and car purposes. The small number of companies preparing them for major rollout sometimes claim they will replace Li-ion traction batteries because of various advantages, not least energy density, where some feel that 600 kWh/kg will be achieved – maybe more. Unfortunately, use of iron does not give the best potential in these respects even though Volvo Bus and Truck, for example, swears by LFP because it has other priorities. For a bigger picture, IDTechEx has looked at, “Most-Needed Chemicals for New Disruptive Electronics and Electrics” ( ) finding that the chemistry of iron is of modest importance overall. Is that about to change?

Super iron

For rechargeable batteries, potentially even including very big ones, a very different approach is being revisited. The “Super-iron” battery is the name for a new class of rechargeable electric battery reminiscent of Edison’s nickel-iron battery all those years ago. It involves a special kind of ferrate salt (iron(VI)). Potassium ferrate (K2FeO4) or barium ferrate (BaFeO4) can apparently be used in this new class of battery researched at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and elsewhere since about 2004. The salts readily accept three electrons per ion, meaning more energy stored. They usually employ the same zinc anode and electrolyte as an alkaline battery, but energy density is claimed to be around 50% higher.

“A High-Performance Rechargeable Iron Electrode for Large-Scale Battery-Based Energy Storage” is the topic of a new article in the Journal of The Electrochemical Society (2012, Volume 159, Issue 8, Pages A1209-A1214). In this work, Aswin K. Manohar et al. of Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, Department of Chemistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California have shown a high-performance rechargeable iron electrode formulated with carbonyl iron and bismuth sulfide that is “far superior in characteristics compared to a commercially available iron electrode.” They achieve one tenth of the usual hydrogen evolution rate, a high charging-efficiency at 96%, a high discharge capacity at 0.3 Ah g−1, and also a twenty-fold increase in capacity for the two-hour discharge rate. “The high level of purity of carbonyl iron combined with the in-situ produced bismuth electro-deposits suppresses the wasteful evolution of hydrogen, while the in situ formation of mixed-valent conductive iron sulfides facilitates high discharge rates.” Apparently, the efficiency and discharge performance were stable with repeated cycling.

Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry at his lab in USC Dornsife researching in iron electrodes.

The researchers have also demonstrated a viable “pressed-plate” type battery electrode that can be inexpensively fabricated using this new formulation of active materials. They say that these high-performance electrodes “have broken the once-formidable barrier of low charging efficiencies and unneeded hydrogen evolution in iron-based aqueous alkaline batteries. Thus, both iron-air and nickel iron batteries can now become the basis for low-cost, durable, and efficient large-scale electrical energy storage systems.”

The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy ARPA-E (GRIDS program, DE-AR0000136), the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, and the University of Southern California.

If the iron battery, as opposed to the LFP version of Li-ion batteries, became popular again after over 100 years it will be part of a pattern. The switched reluctance motor was invented over 100 years ago and it is only now finding a toehold as a traction battery, though it has long been used in other applications. Tesla’s asynchronous motor (“AC induction”) became popular as a traction motor only after 100 years, particularly in large electric vehicles like buses and trucks and heavy duty ones such as forklifts. See the IDTechEx report, “Electric Motors for Electric Vehicles 2012-2022” ( ). IDTechEx is preparing a report on fuel cells for electric vehicles and these may become popular as hybrid vehicle range extenders but over 130 years after their invention.

Farécla G3 Extra From StorkAWD

 Stork AWD and Farécla are proud to announce the launch of a new Farécla cutting compound for Australian conditions; G3 Extra.

G3 Extra has been developed exclusively for the Australian market. This new product comes as a result of extensive testing to ensure it meets the needs of the end user.

Key Features:
•    Very quick cutting action; removes P1500 marks in a flash! Up to 30 per cent faster than main competitor.
•    Virtually no flick off therefore significantly reduced clean up time.
•    Dry use, no water required.
•    Works with any foam or woollen pad.
•    Can be used on Medium Solid & High Solid paints.

G3 Extra cutting compound can be used on its own as a single step quick  cutter or as part of a system with G3 Polish swirl remover to remove swirls on darker colours.

The new G3 Extra cutting compound will be launched in Australia in October.  It will be sold throughout Australia by a select group of distributors. 

A special introductory offer will be available to customers who purchase the new product of an exclusive limited edition G3 Extra T-Shirt.

For further information contact Stork AWD on (03) 9553 1977,
email [email protected] or visit the website



TomTom Announces Ground-Breaking Insurance Partnership

TomTom has made a move into the insurance market by providing the technology behind a new insurance product, which bases premiums on driving behaviour.
TomTom has teamed up with insurance broker Motaquote for the launch of Fair Pay Insurance – a product that rewards ‘good’ drivers with lower premiums.
“Our entry in the insurance market with our proven fleet management technology puts us at the forefront of a move that could help to revolutionise the motor insurance industry,” said Thomas Schmidt, Managing Director TomTom Business Solutions.
“We offer a unique combination of navigation, traffic information and telematics which opens up great opportunities for insurance companies to promote greener, safer driving and create a ground breaking portfolio of new insurance products.”
“We are delighted Motaquote have recognised this potential in the launch of such an innovative product.”
Fair Pay Insurance gives drivers control over their own policy by using driving ability and behaviour to allocate premiums, rather than so-called risk factors such as postcode, gender, and age or vehicle type.
“We’ve dispensed with generalisations and said to our customers, if you believe you’re a good driver, we’ll believe you and we’ll even give you the benefit up front,” said Nigel Lombard, Managing Director of Fair Pay Insurance.
“This is unlike some other telematics-based schemes where you may have to prove your ability over a number of months. So if you think of your insurance as your car’s MPG – the better you drive, the longer your fuel will last. It’s the same with Fair Pay Insurance, good drivers get more for their money and in that sense they will pay ultimately less.”
Drivers who sign up for Fair Pay will benefit from a specially-developed TomTom PRO 3100 navigation device, which includes Active Driver Feedback and LIVE Services. This means policy-holders can be alerted to driving events, such as harsh cornering and sharp braking, and benefit from accurate traffic information updated every two minutes.
They will also have a LINK tracking unit fitted in their vehicles, allowing driver behaviour and habits to be monitored. This information can then be viewed by the policy-holder in their driver dashboard, an online tool that details journey and driver behaviour data, and in regular email bulletins.